KHS history students study the 1920s era

Kingsford High School U.S. History class students studied the 1920s and dressed up as some Jazz Age movers and shakers, including, from left, Addy Kriegl as the iconic Josephine Baker, Maren Menza as evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, Morgan Sleik as the gangster “Baby Face” Nelson, Samantha Wilson as actress Mary Pickford, Riley Dukes as the gangster Bugs Moran, Jaxon Buckley as the boxer Gene Tunney and Mckenzie Kerins as inventor Nikola Tesla.

KINGSFORD — The students in Jessica Garvaglia’s U.S. History class at Kingsford High School recently learned about the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

Students researched scientific and cultural trends of the 1920s and how events in the decade have shaped the historical timeline leading to the world today.

Garvaglia is a firm believer in project-based learning, because when students can see and interact with content, it becomes exciting, and they take ownership of their learning.

The 1920s is filled with many influential figures, but it can be boring and uninspiring to students when it becomes overwhelming content with only textbook reading. There were so many significant people of the 1920s that the class decided to adopt the persona of the major historical figures and make history come alive.

In her class, students first finished a unit on the Jazz Age. Then they were able to select a person from a list of 120 influential 1920s people. The students completed biographical research on their person and wrote a biography in first person point of view. The students then brought these biographies to a class 1920s dinner party, where they dressed and spoke like the people they researched.

Throughout the class period of the dinner party, students went around and spoke as their historical figure, enjoyed food and 1920s inspired treats, and at the end of the party had to determine who their soul mate and who their greatest enemy would be at the party. Bessie Smith, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, and Gene Tunney were just a few of the many figures present.


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